In a country known for the spirit with which it fuses its many cultural influences, it’s of course difficult to narrow down foods without regard for the region. However, there are a few repeated themes throughout the country, whether you’re doing business in Rio de Janeiro or surfing in Bahia, and we’d recommend giving all of them a try.
The national dish is feijoada, a Portugese stew of beans with beef and pork, cooked down in a clay pot over low heat. It will typically come out of the kitchen with rice and a few side dishes, anything from collard greens to fried cassava, and a pot of hot pepper sauce.
And the caipirinha isn’t just a trend in North America—here it’s a classic, made with fresh lime and sugar cane, and the perfect sweet accompaniment to the strong, salty dish.
Rodizio churrascarias are a big draw for tourists and locals alike—“rodizio” refers to the style of service, where a fixed price brings you a seemingly endless series of offerings. Churrascarias focus on meat, and waiters will bring cut after cut to your table and carve directly onto your plate.
As for regional specialties, they range as far and wide as the explorers who’ve reached Brazil’s beautiful coasts. Sao Paolo is known for incredible Italian food, updated with fresh, local ingredients.
In Salvador, moqueca is a fresh seafood stew with coconut milk, lime, and cilantro, similar flavors to some Thai and Indonesian specialities.
In the Pantanal, one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, turn your attention to the bounty of the seas—the gentle basin that forms the region’s flood plain is home to a stunning variety of wildlife, so consider making your visit through one of the many eco-friendly resorts or trip planners while you enjoy the sights.
And don’t forget to bring home some malagueta pepper sauce—sprinkled on anything, the taste will bring you straight back to Brazil!
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